DQ77KB Kearnens Bend Exclusive: Intels 7 series Executive motherboards specced

Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are concerned, but at least one of the new models should be more than suitable for home users too.

Back in November we gave you the model names of Intel's upcoming 7-series motherboards alongside some fairly basic details as far as the specifications went, but now we can offer you a much more detailed look at what Intel has planned for its Executive series of motherboards. These are Intel's motherboards for office computers as far as the chipsets are concerned, but at least one of the new models should be more than suitable for home users too.

Starting at the bottom of the executive series we have the DB75EN – codename Elkhorn Creek – which is based on the B75 chipset. This mATX board is pretty kitted out considering it's targeting the small business market. In terms of slots, we have a single x16 PCI Express 3.0 slot, one PCI Express x1 2.0 slot and two PCI slots – do keep in mind that Intel's Q and B-series chips have native PCI support, something the consumer focused chipsets lack.

Moving on we have one SATA 6Gbps port, three SATA 3Gbps ports, four DIMM slots and headers for two USB 3.0 ports and four USB 2.0 ports. At the rear we have a PS/2 port, two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, an eSATA port, 5.1-channel audio (via three jacks), Intel Gigabit Ethernet and a DVI-D and a D-sub connector.

Next up we have another mATX board, namely the DQ77MK – codename Moccasin Peak – but this time things are somewhat more interesting even from a consumer standpoint. The layout is similar to the DB75EN as far as we can tell with a single PCI Express x16 3.0 slot, a single PCI Express 2.0 slot and one PCI slot, but here we also get an open-ended PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot into which x16 slots can be fitted. Intel has also added a mini-card PCI Express slot that can be put in mSATA mode for some SSD caching action.

DQ77MK Moccasin Peak Exclusive: Intels 7 series Executive motherboards specced

Furthermore the board has two SATA 6Gbps ports – thanks to the Q77 chipset – three SATA 3Gbps ports – or two if the mSATA slot is in use – and headers for two USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports and one FireWire port. Around the rear the board has four USB 2.0 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, a FireWire port, an eSATA port, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet adapters, 5.1-channel audio, a DisplayPort, a DVI-D and a DV-I port. Not a bad board at all for an office PC and even pretty decent for a home system.

The third and final Executive series motherboard launching next quarter from Intel is the DQ77KB – codenamed Kearnens Bend – is potentially the most interesting out of the lot. This mini-ITX board is packed to the brim with features and if you're looking at building yourself a DIY all-in-one PC, or any other mini-ITX system for that matter, then this board is well worth a look. It's not the obvious choice for everyone's needs, especially as it requires an external 19V power adapter, but on the upside this should make for a quite system.

DQ77KB Kearnens Bend Exclusive: Intels 7 series Executive motherboards specced

As far as mini-ITX boards from Intel goes, this one is loaded with expansion options, including a PCI Express 2.0 x4 slot – although in this case it's connected to the CPU – one half-size and one full-size mini card PCI Express slot – with support for mSATA on the full size-slot – two SO-DIMM slots that sadly are limited to DDR3 1333MHz memory, two SATA 6Gbps ports, three SATA 3Gbps ports, LVDS and eDP connectors and headers for up to five USB 2.0 ports. Add to that four rear USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Intel Gigabit Ethernet ports, a pair of audio jacks and a DisplayPort and HDMI connector and this is one sweet little board.

Common for all the boards is support for Windows 7 and Windows 8, as well as RedHat and SUSE Linux certification. Both of the Q77 boards also support Intel Rapid Storage technology with RAID, Intel ATM 8.0 and support for a discrete TPM module. Sadly we don't have any information on pricing as yet, but the boards should be announced alongside Intel's upcoming Ivy Bridge processors in early April.